Record shipment of apples from Napier
Nearly 2.2-million cartons of apples will be shipped through Napier this season, a record for the port.
It is the ﬁrst time Hawke’s Bay has produced 2-million cartons of apples for export, the regional manager of the Apple and Pear Marketing Board, Mr Tony Cross, said today.
The previous best effort was two seasons ago when 1.9-million cartons were exported, he said.
The increased exports were the result of a better production season. The board also had more fruit to sell on the New Zealand market, said Mr Cross.
The harvesting season for the board was nearly over. It would ﬁnish in another 10 days with most of the fruit already in stores.
A few Granny Smith apples and some Red Dougherty apples had yet to be received.
Export fruit went on 14 ships for Europe, Britain, Canada and the United States and four ships took fruit to South-East Asian markets – Hongkong, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan and a small amount to the Philippines.
The ﬁrst ship left Napier in the middle of March and the last will leave next week for Europe.
A pear shipment went in containers to Montreal earlier in the season. Mr Cross said nearly 200 containers were used this season to ship fruit to Honolulu and the United States.
Containers were only used for markets which were not serviced by regular forms of shipping and they made up a small proportion of total shipments.
Mr Cross said the loading rate achieved by watersiders at Napier had been particularly gratifying.
Watersiders were as anxious as others connected with the port to show Napier performed well.
It not only retained existing cargoes, but also could attract more business.
Men on the job received the beneﬁts of faster loading.
He said the average loading rate increased 50 per cent over last season, which meant that ships did not have to stay long, cutting down their costs.
Ships’ stays in port were from three days to a week. A Napier gang set a record for loading in a day this season when 19,1200 cartons were stowed, 3000 cartons better than the record set two years ago.
Gangs were now regularly loading 16,000 cartons a day.
Ten of the ships only called at Napier with the others only making one other call in New Zealand.